As I’ve mentioned on the blog here before, I won’t have a new novel out in 2019. I’m working on one now, in point of fact, and the more it challenges me and kicks my ass, the more I love this book. But I’ll be lucky to have it written by summer. So 2019 is likely right out.
That said, I’m used to having a new something out in the world each year, even as I recognize just how privileged I am to even be able to say that. Six novels, one per year, since 2013 represents an immense amount of good fortune. But yes, I’ll really miss having new work out there.
Or will I?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have published six short stories over the past five years. Four of them have been in anthologies, one was written specifically for the web, and one was a novella tie-in to my debut, The Daedalus Incident. You can find out more about them here, of course, and I urge you to do so. They’re a real mix of stuff, from Cthulhu Mythos horror to fantasy to science fiction to humor. If there’s a common thread among them, other than the schmuck who wrote them, I can’t see it.
For most of these, I have the publishing rights back. A couple are pieces I did for role-playing game worlds — Pathfinder and Vampire: The Masquerade, respectively — and I may or may not be able to reprint those easily. I also have a couple additional stories that have yet to see the light of day, but I’m really quite proud of regardless, so those will get in there too. Finally, it’d be really great to reprint the Daedalus novella, The Gravity of the Affair, after my old agency shut down aspects of its publishing business. (It’s still up on Audible, though, so go figure.)
So…let’s call it six to eight stories, with a total word-count ranging from 40,000 to 55,000, depending on permissions. That seems reasonable, right? And I’d probably enjoy writing a little about each story, the genesis of the work, lessons learned, whatever. Interesting bits for both readers and writers alike seems like a good way to go.
And if I don’t get the OK to reprint the game stories, I could still theoretically link to them! One’s freely available on the web, and the other one is the featured preview story for the anthology on Amazon. I could certainly talk about those works and what they mean to me, then provide the freely-available, Google-able links.
In terms of actually publishing the thing, I would probably choose the path of least resistance and go with with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. Story collections just don’t sell for most authors unless they’ve already hit it big — and while I’m really grateful for my successes, I don’t yet qualify as big. So a self-pub is the way to roll, and KDP Select is probably the best return on investment I can manage with the time I have to devote to this.
So what do I need from you folks? Ideas and thoughts and advice, really. If you’re a self-published author, I’d be massively grateful for whatever advice you have on getting this idea out there. If you’re a reader of mine, would you plop down $3 for a collection like this? Am I wrong about KDP Select? Do you just want to opine? Point is, I want to know what’s on your mind, so please leave a comment. (Note that comments are moderated, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on ’em and will do my best to approve quickly.)
Also, if you’d be so kind, how about some thoughts on possible titles? To wit:
Let’s be super clear: I don’t expect to make serious bank on this. But I’d like to give it a go and see what happens while I work on Big Dark. (Ooops…working title there. Shh.) Let me know what you think in the comments.
7 responses to “So I’m thinking of doing a story collection and I want your thoughts. Yes, you!”
I’d definitely be willing to drop a few bucks on an ebook of your short stories. Like you said, I doubt you’d make much money from self-publishing through Amazon Kindle, but it could be a good and easy way to get those stories out there and make a little bit of money off of them.
That’s kind of my thinking too. Maybe not a major money-maker, but that’s not the point. Just having something to stay allegedly relevant. 🙂 Thanks, Michael!
I mean, I’m in, obviously. You’re right in thinking that KDP is probably your best bet, although if you want it available in print in addition to the ebook version you probably want to go elsewhere for that part; feel free to email me if you want details.
I wouldn’t mind having print as an option, if only to have some freebies to hand out and a couple for the bookshelf. 🙂 I’ll drop you a line!
Getting a new book by you is a great thing.
Now let’s hear more about Big Dark…😁
It’s big. And dark. 🙂
Not quite what I was hoping for!